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The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality [Kindle Edition]

Richard Heinberg
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Economists insist that recovery is at hand, yet unemployment remains high, real estate values continue to sink, and governments stagger under record deficits. The End of Growth proposes a startling diagnosis: humanity has reached a fundamental turning point in its economic history. The expansionary trajectory of industrial civilization is colliding with non-negotiable natural limits.

Richard Heinberg’s latest landmark work goes to the heart of the ongoing financial crisis, explaining how and why it occurred, and what we must do to avert the worst potential outcomes. Written in an engaging, highly readable style, it shows why growth is being blocked by three factors:

  • Resource depletion
  • Environmental impacts
  • Crushing levels of debt

These converging limits will force us to re-evaluate cherished economic theories and to reinvent money and commerce.

The End of Growth describes what policy makers, communities, and families can do to build a new economy that operates within Earth’s budget of energy and resources. We can thrive during the transition if we set goals that promote human and environmental well-being, rather than continuing to pursue the now-unattainable prize of ever-expanding GDP.

Richard Heinberg is the author of nine previous books, including The Party's Over, Peak Everything, and Blackout. A senior fellow of the Post Carbon Institute, Heinberg is one of the world's foremost peak oil educators and an effective communicator of the urgent need to transition away from fossil fuels.



Editorial Reviews

Review

Why have mainstream economists ignored environmental limits for so long? If Heinberg is right, they will have much explaining to do." -- LESTER BROWN, Founder Earth Policy Institute

Heinberg shows how peak oil, peak water, peak food, etc. lead not only to the end of growth, but to the beginning of a new era of progress without growth. -- HERMAN E. DALY, Professor Emeritus, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland

By the time you finish this, you will have 2 conclusions: This is the end of economic growth and it is our problem, not our childrens'. It's time to get ready. This book is the place to start. --PAUL GILDING -- Former head of Greenpeace International

Richard has rung the bell on the limits to growth. Our shift from quantity of consumption to quality of life is the great challenge of our generation. Frightening...but ultimately freeing. --JOHN FULLERTON - President and Founder, Capital Institute

From the Back Cover

As energy and food prices escalate and debt levels explode, paths that formerly led to economic prosperty now lead to disaster. This book proposes a startling diagnosis: the global economy has reached a fundamental turning point--the end of growth. The Great Recession will not end in "recovery." Still, we can thrive in coming years if we abandon the futile pursuit of growth in consumption and aim instead for improvements in quality of life.

Richard Heinberg's latest landmark work goes to the heart of the ongoing financial crisis, examining why it occurred, and what we must do to avert the worst potential outcomes. Written in an engaging style, it shows why growth can't continue in the face of resource depletion, environmental devastation, and mountains of debt.

The End of Growth re-evaluates cherished economic theories and describes what policymakers, communities, and families can do to build a new economy that operates within Earth's budget of energy and resources. We can thrive during the transition if we set goals that promote human and environmental well-being, rather than pursuing the now-unattainable prize of ever-expanding GDP.

Product Details


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
203 of 220 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars American Dream or American Fantasy August 1, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read this book over a month ago when it was first released through the Post Carbon Institute website. Then I ordered 2 more from Amazon, one for my town's library and one to loan out. I write this review now as the morning news on NPR reports that the democrats and republicans have come to some agreement on ending the debt ceiling crisis. If only that were good news, but apparently they have not read this book and unfortunately most likely never will. This book is the most important book you can read. It is written in a style that makes for easy understanding and were it not for its premise it could even be considered a pleasant read. But unfortunately it will not be read by enough people, not even enough people who you would like to think should read it. It is not fun entertainment, not even infotainment, and for some it is exactly what they don't want to read, a non-fiction book with dire news.

If you have read John Perkins and understand the difference between dream and fantasy as taught by the shamans of the Amazon, and have read Jared Diamonds "Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed", and you then read this book, you will see how the "American Dream" is really an American "Fantasy" in which we through ignorance, avarice or, worse than either, denial, continue to build our own versions of Moai on a shrinking planet that increasingly resembles Easter Island except that our ocean is the vastly greater and even more inhospitable universe.

If you can read this book without being either an optimist or pessimist, but a rational thinking person, then your biggest battle may just be overcoming denial.
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103 of 119 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Coming Great Contraction September 1, 2011
Format:Paperback
Richard Heinberg's newest book, "The End of Growth," gives an overview of the coming Great Contraction. Heinberg argues that the global economy is at a major tipping point. It is his contention that the global economy is at the end of growth and that growth is absolutely necessary in order for the current economic system to function in a healthy and stable state. Without growth, global economies will contract and civilizations will fail.

The book is well researched and written. However, for those individuals who have been following the literature of impending global civilization collapse, this book holds few surprises. What it does very well is explain in clear language the existing global economic system and how it has arrived at the very unstable and unhealthy state that we find it in. The book then fits this impending contracting and collapsing economic situation in with other trends that are propelling the civilized world toward collapse. In particular, it is based on the author's fervent belief in the physical limits of planet Earth and the necessity of building a new economic system that supports sustainable living.

The author warns readers who are unfamiliar with the literature of global civilization collapse that his book will likely undermine their "mental equilibrium in a way that is both deeply uncomfortable and exhilarating." I agree.

If you wish to read two pages in the book that the author uses to outline exactly how the book is constructed and summarizes the content of each chapter, use the "Look Inside The Book" feature at the top of the main page for this title in Amazon and search for the text string "Chapter 1 is a potted history." Reading this may help you decide on whether or not this book is for you.
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57 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Growth of Understanding July 22, 2011
Format:Paperback
I sent off for an advance copy of [[ASIN:0865716951 The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality] a few weeks ago. Having heard Richard Heinberg give a talk a while back, and receiving his regular Museletters, my expectations were high. I was not disappointed. The man has an incredible gift for making complexity appear simple, and for delivering unpalatable facts with gentle irony. The historical development of the modern economy is laid bare, our current predicament is there for all to see, and the only rational solution is given a thorough airing. Buy it for your friends, buy it for business people large and small. It is an essential primer for building the future.
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars End of Growth review from a Mexican June 30, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book explains perfect the foundation of our modern society and it's huge mistakes in economics, energy, population and environment, which they all have limits, and society will have to redefine itself due to this, the question is will we do it voluntary or will we have to face a crisis?. I think this information should be one of the most important topics in our time, probably the most. It's a tipping point in personal conscience based on facts and statistics, and how we really should reorganize our priorities.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing! July 21, 2011
Format:Paperback
Richard Heinberg manages to survey the history and present of our economic/ecological crises and write about them in an interesting fashion which makes our current situation suddenly much more understandable. He also makes it crystal clear that new understanding and solutions are necessary, pointing in the direction of solutions which are apt to work and at the same time lead to a better way to live. Rough times are here and also ahead, yet directions for hope emerge with shining clarity. This is a book for everyone to read who cares about a future for themselves, their country, or their world.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A must read for the aware America
For anyone interested in the future of America (and perhaps mankind), this is one book not to miss. I rank it close to The Limits of Growth (1974) by the Rome Club group. Read more
Published 1 month ago by David Delo
4.0 out of 5 stars read at your own risk ;-)
So that title at least got you wondering, right? I don't wanna give it away but to say that this book was a bit slow, but well researched and it leads one to definitely think long... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Robert e. Lee jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Book to understand some of the causes of the end of growth and...
This is a good book to understand some of the causes of the end of growth and some possibilities to soften the process. Read more
Published 2 months ago by James G. Broadwell
5.0 out of 5 stars IF YOU CARE ABOUT THE FUTURE OF LIFE ON EARTH, YOU MUST READ THIS...
This book covers every aspect of the coming personal, family, community, national and global challenge of resource depletion: the end of cheap oil, coal, water, minerals and land. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Catherine Etheridge
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read for Everyone
This is a must read for everyone. I cannot stress enough how important it is for any educated person to read this book and deeply comprehend the ideas and arguments within. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Randy
4.0 out of 5 stars I'll need to read it again
This is an absolutely epic book. So many things to think about - just possibly this might become one of those seminal works which politicians, policy makers, lobby groups, and... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Dr. Peter
5.0 out of 5 stars this is a must read
this book is a must read for everyone concerned about our future

it talks about the limits to the world economy etc
Published 7 months ago by zed more
3.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't give alternative economic system.
I was disappointed in this book. This book is part of my attempt to read about alternative economic systems and the author came up short. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Andy S Kane
5.0 out of 5 stars Still Very Important Book Despite Delay in Peak Oil by Fracking
At the time of publication in 2011, the End of Growth was a very timely book following the global economic collapse and the belief that Peak Oil had happened already or was... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Dr. Lionel
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read..despite the bearish attitude towards emerging...
This book is gives an overview of the coming “great contraction”. I was a bit skeptical of its basic premise (that the phenomenal growth we witnessed in the past couple of... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Ravi S
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More About the Author

Richard Heinberg is the author of eleven books including:

Snake Oil: How Fracking's False Promise of Plenty Imperils Our Future (2013)
The End of Growth: Adapting to our New Economic Reality (2011)
Blackout: Coal, Climate, and the Last Energy Crisis (2009)
Peak Everything: Waking Up to the Century of Declines (2007)
The Oil Depletion Protocol: A Plan to Avert Oil Wars, Terrorism and Economic Collapse (2006)
Powerdown: Options and Actions for a Post-Carbon World (2004)
The Party's Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies (2003)

He is Senior Fellow-in-Residence of the Institute and is widely regarded as one of the world's foremost Peak Oil educators. He has authored scores of essays and articles that have appeared in such journals as Nature, The Ecologist, The American Prospect, Public Policy Research, Quarterly Review, Z Magazine, Resurgence, The Futurist, European Business Review, Earth Island Journal, Yes!, Pacific Ecologist, and The Sun; and on web sites such as Alternet.org, EnergyBulletin.net, TheOilDrum.com, ProjectCensored.com, and Counterpunch.com.

He has appeared in many film and television documentaries, including Leonardo DiCaprio's 11th Hour, and is a recipient of the M. King Hubbert Award for Excellence in Energy Education.

More information about Richard can be found on his website: richardheinberg.com



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